Dear Barb – Dependants in Need

Dear Barb:

Hi, I am a single mother who is working toward my degree at AU, but it is slow going since I can’t afford to take more than one course at a time. My daughter is five years old and we have been living alone since her father left three years ago. Back then we went to the animal shelter and found a young dog that had been abused and neglected, and, with a lot of love, Shelby has turned into a sweet and gentle dog. The other day Shelby was jumping up on the bed the other day and tore a ligament in her leg. We rushed her to the vet and the bad news is that it will cost approximately $5,000 to fix her leg. I can’t afford to pay for this and I don’t want to put her down, but I might have to. Right now we are just keeping her quiet and crated until we can decide what to do. My daughter and I are heartbroken. I don’t know what to do. Do you have any suggestions? Heartbroken in BC.

Dear Heartbroken:

I can definitely identify with your situation as I have two dogs and a cat and I love them like family. I suspect Shelby filled a void in both of your lives after your daughter’s father left, and has become an important family member. It is unfair that you would have to make a decision to put down a young healthy dog for financial reasons. I did some research and there is help out there! The Farley Foundation subsidizes pet bills for individuals who meet their criteria. It sounds like you might qualify, but I can’t say for sure. There is also an organization that will finance pet bills. They offer low monthly payments and competitive interest rates. You would have to go to their website to see if your veterinarian is a member.

Have you discussed your situation with your vet? They may negotiate the cost, It’s worth a try. Also talk to your veterinarian about other options, remember they went into this profession because they are animal lovers. Take care and thanks for writing in.

Dear Barb:

My life is so hectic I feel like I’m spinning in circles. My wife left me and our two daughters six months ago. She met some other guy and is head over heels in love with him. Our daughters are eight and ten and their mother rarely sees them or helps out with driving them to activities etc. I have a successful career but it is very demanding. I’m trying to keep up with the household chores plus the cooking and cleaning, but I’m finding I hardly have any time to just spend with my girls. Do you have any suggestions? Steven

Hey Steven:

Sorry that this had to happen to your family but with a little outside help you can work through it. You say you have a successful career and then my suggestion would be to hire someone to help out with the household chores. It doesn’t make you any less of a dad if you accept help. It’s important for you to be able to hang out with your girls. They particularly need their dad right now since their mother is mostly absent. Hire a cleaning service to come in once or twice a week and do laundry and cleaning. You can even get them to make a few casserole dishes to put in the freezer for when you need a quick meal. Also you need to spend time unwinding with friends, so have a night every week or two where you go out and do something you enjoy. Hope this helps. Thanks Steven.

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